Preventing burns from electrical items

Electrical items can cause burns. These include:

  • kettles
  • coffee makers
  • microwaves
  • irons
  • hairdryers
  • hair straighteners

Keep electrical equipment and flexes out of your child’s reach. Store them away safely.

Electrical appliances also pose a fire risk. Switch off and unplug electrical equipment when it is not in use. Make sure equipment has cooled down before storing away.

Hair straighteners

Hair straighteners can reach 200 degrees Celsius and higher. They take up to 40 minutes to cool down.

Hair straighteners can cause injuries to children. Most injuries happen after the straighteners are switched off.

The most common injury is on the hand. Injuries also happen on the head, arm and foot.

The average age of children admitted to hospital with hair straightener burns is 18 months.

Keep hair straighteners out of children’s reach. Switch off and unplug straight away after use. Store in a heat-resistant bag out of reach.

Electrical flexes and cords

Make sure children are not able to pull at the iron’s flex or cord when it’s in use.

Use a short flex for kettle and other electrical equipment. This includes coffee makers and slow cookers. A short flex makes it harder for children to pull them closer.

Beware also of the strangulation risk of flexes and cords.

Electric blankets

Never use an electric blanket on a child’s bed. They could tamper with the blanket, flex or plug. This may result in an injury or a fire.

Do not use damaged electric blankets in your home. Check electric blankets and their flexes regularly for signs of wear and tear.

Make sure there are no creases in the electric blanket and it lies flat on the mattress.

Related Content

Child safety checklist for parents including child-proofing (PDF, 5.32MB, 2 pages)

Use the HSE's child proofing check list to help you child proof your home to protect your children. This list is also available from your public health nurse.

Child safety wallchart for parents including basic first aid (PDF, 3.22MB, 4 pages)

Print this child safety wallchart and keep within easy access in your home. Includes tips on child safety, first aid information and emergency contact details.

Page last reviewed: 28 March 2019
Next review due: 28 March 2022

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